Stylists and personal shopping. All sounds very glamorous doesn’t it? Sounds like it’s for the rich and famous and wouldn’t be something in reach of or beneficial to a busy mum working from home.
But that’s exactly me. At the start of this story I’m still wearing maternity stuff even though my youngest is nearly 2, I’m hiding all my wobbly bits in baggy clothes, avoiding shops like the plague and pretending I don’t care what I look like.
Except it was a lie. And a particularly lovely stylist, Becky Barnes, helped bring me back to myself again. Here’s my experience, and why I’d recommend Becky in a heartbeat.
Where it all began.
As I said, I’m a full time mum to a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old, and also trying to run a business. My life is hectic and stressful and wonderful all at once. Sound like you? I’m a vocal coach and I make online courses to teach people how to sing from home….something which I totally love and which is manageable (just about) around my lovely girls.
It was this business which prompted me to work with Becky on a serious level. I knew I had to do something about my online presence so I decided to book a brand photoshoot with Visuable (Lidia was amazing too, but that’s another story!). I didn’t want to invest in a photoshoot like this, however, and be stuck in my hoody and jeans not knowing what to wear.
I’d previously had a colour session with Becky when I took a friend for her birthday, so I knew that she was lovely and not intimidating like you’d expect stylists to be, and I’d also had my eyes opened to how much of a difference the right colour could make to your skin. So I didn’t hesitate to call her to see if she could help me work out what to wear for my photoshoot.
What she offered me was this:
A style consultation
Another fun session in her studio where we talked about all the good things about my body, how to bring those out and make the most of them; body shapes and which one is most like mine and trying on different styled jackets and accessories to see where the eye is drawn to and how it accentuates different parts of the body. Completely eye opening. Such simple changes make so much difference. I cried. She hugged me and told me I was beautiful. I went home smiling.
A wardrobe review
I thought this bit would be scary but it wasn’t at all. Becky came to look at what clothes, shoes and accessories I already had. Turns out I didn’t have a lot! I knew it would be low because I’ve thrown things out over the years as my body has changed since becoming a mum, but I haven’t been replacing anything. For two of the items, Becky suggested a way in which I could easily alter it to change the shape so that it would suit me. She also gave some great tips about wearing wrong colour tops with right colour scarves so nothing needed to be thrown away.
Becky looked through the shops before this to find things that would suit my body shape and my personality, and then we went out together to try things on. I set the budget, she was amazing at finding bargains and had a magic eye for finding things that are perfect. In one shop she picked up a denim dress which I turned my nose up at, but decided to humour her and try it on anyway. It’s PERFECT. Hugs my figure in all the right places and turns me into an hourglass shape. It’s now my favourite thing in my wardrobe! She’s a shopping magician ;)
This is where Becky really went above and beyond. She chose combinations of outfits for me before the photoshoot, always checking I was happy with them. Then she was there on the day to pass me the right clothes and jewellery, roll up my sleeves, make sure my scarf or necklace was sat right and my hair looked good. She even ironed one of my tops while I got myself ready – truly an amazing service!
The best part.
So what did I get from the package? Colour and style consultations, wardrobe review, personal shopping, outfit organisation and photoshoot help.
What I didn’t expect to get was a completely renewed confidence and love for my body.
I used to hide in baggy clothes and pretend I didn’t care. I’ve always been confident in myself so I used that to hide my insecurity about my appearance. The truth is I’d had many mornings where I’d be sitting on my bed in tears because I felt frumpy. Because I put on 3 stone and moved up 2 dress sizes since having my babies. Because I didn’t want my husband to see me topless I hated my tummy so much. Because I felt guilty for letting the way I looked affect how I felt about myself and I never wanted my girls to feel the same way about their bodies.
I was hiding the fact that I was miserable.
Becky helped me to see myself another way.
She helped me to see that I have some great qualities. Like my eyes, my smile, my ankles and my boobs. She helped me to realise that such a tiny percentage of women are that coveted hourglass shape and I wasn’t any less of a woman because that wasn’t me. She helped me to see myself through her eyes – a gorgeous, inspirational and strong young woman.
She helped me to accept my shape and love it just as it is. She helped me to realise that I deserve to buy myself nice things and feel good in new clothes. She gave me the confidence to cut my hair (sounds silly, but a hairstyle I’d kept for years was cut about 8 inches shorter!). She helped me to see that I deserve to give myself some love and take pride in the way I look not because I have to to be accepted, but because I’m worthy of that time and that care.
And she helped me to love the way I look.
Thanks so much Becky. I’ll always be grateful. And so will my husband!